Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is fairly a common heart condition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30–79 years worldwide have hypertension, out of which an estimated 46 per cent of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have the condition. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated on time. What makes this condition dangerous is that it shows no symptoms. Due to this, a lot of people aren’t even aware whether they have hypertension or not. But what causes hypertension? On World Hypertension Day, let’s find the common causes of hypertension.
Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is the blood pressure that is higher than usual. Blood pressure over 140/90 is considered hypertension, while BP over 180/120 is considered severe hypertension.
Hypertension often has no noticeable symptoms. However, there are several indicators of high blood pressure, including early-morning headaches, nose bleeding, erratic heartbeats, eyesight problems, and ear buzzing. Additionally, high BP also raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues by deteriorating blood vessels and organs over time. Apart from it, severe hypertension can lead to fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, chest pain, and trembling of the muscles.
Health Shots asked Dr Chetan Bhambure, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to help us understand the causes of high blood pressure.
There are two types of hypertension such as essential (primary) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Each type has different causes.
When it comes to the causes of primary hypertension, there isn’t a single factor that raises the risk of high BP. Usually, it develops over time due to several risk factors which include:
Primary hypertension often develops gradually over many years, raising complications for your heart health.
Also read: World Hypertension Day: How to monitor your blood pressure at home
Secondary hypertension is quite different from primary hypertension. Unlike primary hypertension, secondary hypertension is not due to ageing or lifestyle factors. It is caused by a variety of medical conditions and medications you are taking. The common causes include:
Dr Bhambure says, “Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure since there are no noticeable warning signs or symptoms. Only by measuring your blood pressure can you determine if you have high blood pressure.”
Also read: A naturopath explains how you can ward off hypertension naturally
When you have high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump blood. Your arteries may become less elastic as a result, which could harm them and reduce the amount of blood and oxygen getting to your heart. This can increase the risk of heart diseases such as chest pain (angina), heart attack, heart failure, and even stroke. “You should monitor your blood pressure and follow a healthy lifestyle if you want to lower your risk of developing such a serious cardiac problem,” suggests Dr Bhambure.
To manage hypertension, follow these tips shared by Dr Bhambure:
If a disease or medicine you take is the root of your high blood pressure, treating the underlying issue and asking your doctor to prescribe a different medication can help you manage your hypertension. However, if you’re a high BP due to your poor lifestyle, following these lifestyle changes can help you manage the condition. But it is not enough. So, consult your doctor to help you manage your hypertension condition effectively because, by lowering your blood pressure, you can help protect yourself from heart diseases.
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